Executive Director of University Benefits Discusses Open Enrollment

Posted by on Monday, October 22, 2018 in Announcements, News.

This month, Executive Director of University benefits, Catherine Wood spoke with USAC about 2019 Open Enrollment. All benefits-eligible faculty and staff will be required to actively select a health plan option for 2019 coverage between October 17 and October 31. During this enrollment period, employees have two health plan options to choose from: the Select PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) and the new Choice CDHP (Consumer-Driven Health Plan) with Health Savings Account (HSA). Employees who fail to make a selection during Open Enrollment will default to the health care plan with the lowest premiums (Choice CDHP) at their current selected tier (i.e., individual or family). For 2019, if you elect to be in the Choice CDHP, Vanderbilt will contribute to your HSA. Those who enroll in employee only coverage will receive $750, and those who enroll in a family tier of coverage will receive $1,500. HSA funds can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses – tax-free – in that plan year, or be saved for future medical expenses, even into retirement.

The Open Enrollment website has a detailed guide to the health plan options, an outline of payroll premiums, an FAQs page, and the PLANselect tool which will help employees to choose the best health plan option given their expected medical needs. (Please note that these webpages require VUnetID verification.)

In addition to the health plan selection, Open Enrollment also allows employees paying for Vanderbilt Health Plan benefits to apply their Go for the Gold wellness credit to their plan to pay for deductible, and co-insurance. Annually employees who do the necessary steps can receive a wellness credit of up to $240, and this will be combined with existing unused funds that can roll forward to a threshold of up to $1,000. (For employees currently enrolled in the HealthFund plan, any remaining HealthFund HRA dollars are combined with Go for the Gold wellness credits. There is no way for Aetna to separate and properly allocate the amounts so remaining funds at the end of the year will be put in a Limited Purpose HRA for payment of vision and dental expenses.) Designed to help faculty and staff lead healthier and more productive lives, Go for the Gold is a comprehensive health promotion program that identifies health risks and offers actionable steps to reduce them. The wellness credit earned through the program may be applied to an employee’s health plan account and can be used by all covered dependents, or it may be applied to membership costs for the Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center.

Remember that Open Enrollment is also the time of year when you enroll in:

  • Dental and vision insurance
  • Health care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • Dependent care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • Accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D)

Additionally, you will want to complete your smoking attestation and review your spousal coverage, and beneficiaries and dependents.

A video of Wood’s presentation can be found via the USAC website and more information about Open Enrollment, Go for the Gold, and other benefits available to Vanderbilt faculty and staff can be found on the Human Resources website here.

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